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Northwood sees 40% increase in hand towel capacity as customers follow NHS advice

Manufacturer and supplier of Away-from-Home (AfH) professional paper hygiene and wiping products, Northwood Hygiene Products, is increasing its hand towel capacity by over 40 per cent, following a significant investment in new equipment.

With the NHS advising people to dry their hands with disposable towels rather than electronic dryers (NHS “How to Wash Your Hands” guide, 20th March 2020), there is a growing appreciation of the hygiene benefits of the former, which best remove remaining microbes after washing.

In order to meet the rapidly growing demand for folded hand towels, Northwood is installing three new machines at its Oldham converting plant, with a combined capacity of circa 12,000 tonnes per year, which will run alongside the existing two.

The investment will allow Northwood not only to increase its capacity, but also to reduce the amount of factored goods imported from outside the UK. This will enable the company to further improve its high degree of vertical integration.

Said Northwood’s Marketing Manager, Paul Mulready: “The increased demand for hand towels is predicted to continue long-term, as Covid-19 has highlighted not only the importance of effective hand drying, but also the superior performance of single use towels over electronic units.

“By increasing our UK production capacity by over 40 per cent, we will be able to meet our customers’ high demands reliably and competitively, enabling them to safely reopen their facilities after lockdown and then to provide a high level of washroom hygiene long-term.”

Established in 1974, Northwood is a family owned, vertically integrated group of associated companies. Activities across its network of 10 UK and two European sites include recycling, parent reel production, converting and logistics. It serves a wide range of sectors, including healthcare, education, hospitality, leisure, manufacturing and catering.


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